Monthly Economic Report: March 2013

Posted by Paladin on March 14, 2013

A summary of the BLS jobs report for the professional and business services industry – based on February 2013 data.

The “Employment Situation – February 2013” jobs report issued on March 8th continued to reveal progress in the U.S. job market. According to the BLS, 236,000 new jobs were created in February, as the national unemployment rate dropped to 7.7 percent, the lowest measurement recorded since December 2008.

Since November, 205,250 jobs, on average, have been added to the economy per month. By comparison, 183,000 jobs on average were generated last year on a monthly basis.

February’s jobs report exceeded most economists’ expectations, as many projected the national unemployment rate would linger at 7.9 percent for the second consecutive month. Others anticipated 160,000 to 170,000 new jobs would be created.

Some economists believed the sudden decline in the national unemployment rate was a direct result of the civilian labor force shrinking by 130,000 from January to February. Yet, others noted that total employment rose by 170,000 last month, while unemployment decreased by 300,000, signifying economic progress.

Furthermore, the national underemployment rate decelerated, falling to 14.3 percent. The rate includes unemployed Americans, discouraged workers, individuals employed part-time for economic reasons, and citizens marginally attached to the labor force.

In addition, the Labor Department reported that the four-week moving average for new state jobless aid claims declined by 7,000 during the week of February 25th, dropping to 348,750, the lowest level documented since march 2008.

Many economists believe such signs of economic growth will continue this spring and summer, in spite of the sequestration enacted on march 1st, sharing an optimistic outlook for the months to come.

Private sector hiring rose for the 36th straight month in February, as the sector generated 246,000 new jobs.

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